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ZERO DARK THIRTY
There was much a do about “Zero Dark Thirty” before its release. Originally slated for the end of October, conservative pundits screamed “foul” claiming the film would serve as a promotional propaganda piece for the reelection of Barrack Hussein Obama. To quell the furor, “Zero Dark Thirty” was postponed until mid-November, and then further delayed until December.
Bloggers and talk show hosts screamed “foul” once again when it was revealed Director Kathryn Bigelow and Writer Matt Adams were given access to top secret documents, and tours of sensitive intelligence rooms as pre-production prep. There was an investigation, and while providing speculative talking points, all proved to be much ado about nothing. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the film.
“Zero Dark Thirty” is Bigelow’s second foray into the Middle East war zone after her Oscar winning “The Hurt Locker”. This new endeavor has nowhere near the tension, complexity nor interest of the former. It’s not even Hurt Locker Lite. The film attempts to detail the events leading up to the capture and execution of Osama Bin Ladin, who many consider the third anti-Christ, and his war against America and Western Civilization.
It begins with 9-11; but a very politically correct one. The screen remains dark, and cellphone messages and police communications are played. There are no visuals. This is nothing more than another attempt to dilute the attack, so Americans do not revive their animosity towards a people and culture committed to destruction. Bigelow has no qualms about showing the 7-7 bombing, the bombing of the Marriott, nor the bombing of the CIA camp, but cannot show 9-11, due to sensitivities. It’s just as stupid as it sounds when I write it. We were attacked. We are still at war with Muslims. Smell the coffee. Americans aren’t babies who need coddled. It’s Bigelow’s first mistake in the film.
While everyone knows the film is about the execution of Bin Laden, Bigelow never shows him. Angled shots of a beard are all that is permitted. We certainly wouldn’t want the “religion of peace” to begin bombing theatres and attacking patrons because we dared show their leader with a special ops bullet through his head. Afterall, look what a silly spoof tape, seen by only 37 people caused when the loving Muslims attacked our embassy in Iran. This cinematic faux pas is Bigelow’s second mistake.
If “Zero Dark Thirty” is to be believed, it was a woman who spearheaded the operation and provided the boot to the ass of a group of overly cautious men. The woman is in the guise of Jessica Chastain. The curvaceous redhead, with pouting freckles and baby blues will permit acceptance of this further politically correct subplot, whether true or not.
There is still some question as to who is responsible for bin Laden’s death. The Navy Seals were first escorted to the forefront as the heroes, but speculation persists it was Delta Force. The Seals are a high publicity corps (be certain to pronounce the‘s’, lest you anger Bronco Bama), while Delta is strictly covert. Completing missions worldwide, they avoid publicity and credit for their endeavors. The team in “Zero Dark Thirty” is never identified. They look more like Delta Force than Seals.
The narrative of “Zero Dark Thirty” differs considerably from the news stories and reports of the time. There is a disclaimer at the film’s end, stating characters and incidents are fictionalized, but the problem is still in the presentation. An investigation running nearly a decade does not pick up speed until Chastain badgers Mark Strong with a red marking pen. Before this sequence, the film plays as a series of loosely connected anecdotes. The military operation is anticlimactic and is presented as a series of misfires, rather than an elite military excursion.
“Zero Dark Thirty” is not complementary towards the President, nor the country, unlike “The Hurt Locker”. It tightropes across the PC fence, never making the bold statements it should. Bigelow has removed all the pro-American messages that made “The Hurt Locker” so powerful. It is her biggest mistake of all.
There is a scene where the CIA top officials are considering taking the raid operation to Bronco Bama. A character actually says: “You know our President; he’s a smart and analytical guy.” At this point, my guest and I burst into raucous laughter. It was the funniest line of the movie. It did not endear me to the other flaming liberals attending the press screening, but it did solidify my reputation as the most must read conservative filmcritic in the nation.
ZERO DARK THIRTY EARNS A C-.